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7 Tips for Writing Acceptance Criteria with Examples – Agile For Growth – Acceptance Criteria Definition
Acceptance Criteria defines how a particular feature could be used from an end user’s perspective. It focuses on business value, establishes the boundary of the feature’s scope and guides development. These are unique to a user story and form the basis of user story acceptance testing which establishes the conditions for the success of the feature.
Acceptance criteria could establish a boundary that helps team members to understand what’s included and what’s excluded from the scope of the user story. The criterion of user story acceptance not only informs the product behavior in happy path scenarios, it also guides the user experience when things don’t work as intended. It describes what would be verified by the acceptance tests.
When the product owner verifies particular user story acceptance criteria and the developed feature passes it, the development of the user story is considered a success. Pass / fail type results allow AC to form the basis of creating tests that can be automated and executed.
Tips for writing Acceptance Criteria
An essential aspect of writing good user story involves writing good acceptance criteria. It is the key to effectively testing the developed functionality. It allows the team members writing acceptance tests to understand the scope of the user story or Product Backlog Item (PBI).
How to define acceptance criteria? Here are some useful tips for writing AC for user stories. Some of the Scrum teams I’ve worked with preferred to use these ac tips as a checklist for writing good acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria checklist helped with consistency and acted as training wheels for new team members. I encourage the teams to keep revisiting and revising these tips to fit their need. I would also forewarn to avoid using these tips as fixed rules.
7 Tips to write Acceptance Criteria | Agile For Growth
7 Tips for Writing Acceptance Criteria:
Each product backlog item or user story should have at least one acceptance criteria. Hey, don’t take writing acceptance criteria lightly or think of skipping it.
Acceptance Criteria is written before implementation – this is obvious yet frequently missed by teams. Write acceptance criteria after the implementation and miss the benefits.
Each acceptance criterion is independently testable. Why shouldn’t it be?
Acceptance criteria must have a clear Pass / Fail result. Write complex and long sentences at your own risk.
It focuses on the end result – What. Not the solution approach – How.
Include functional as well as non-functional criteria – when relevant.
Team members write acceptance criteria and the Product Owner verifies it. It confirms the PO and the team have shared understanding of the user story.